Over the course of developing, implementing and executing various social media strategies for different industries, five prevailing myths seem to appear in every conversation.
1. No one cares if I post about what I had for lunch or not.
This comment is usually coming from someone in a senior leadership position, and who still hasn’t purchased a smartphone, of any kind.
The myth here is that social media content is usually filled with frivolous content posted by tweens discussing who-knows-what. However, with Facebook’s 1.28 billion monthly active visitors, the 255 million monthly active visitors, 187 million active visitors on LinkedIn (this is just covering these three, not the numerous other outlets) ignoring social media for your business is ignoring massive potential audiences.
Speaking of all these audiences…
2. We need to be on every single social media outlet .
This is, personally, my favorite myth on a social media strategy for a business.
This myth pertains to an overall lack of education on just how many social media outlets truly do exist. Most people think of the big three, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
These people rarely think about Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, Youtube and various other outlets when saying they need to be on “all” social network outlets.
The main issue here is, even when committing to just the big three, these outlets may not be where your audience is looking for your message. A baking company may have significantly more engagement and reach using Pinterest as oppose to Facebook.
Social media monitoring and research is key to finding where your audience will best hear your message.
3. The more followers we have, the better off we are.
There are many metrics to follow with social media. So many, that it can be overwhelming so people just focus on the easiest number to correlate “success” with, an increase of followers.
While an increase of followers is important, the type of followers and the engagement with those followers are what is most important.
Many different social media outlets, blog, Twitter, etc., are littered with bot accounts that follow, subscribe and inflate follower numbers. It is important to monitor those who follow/subscribe your accounts and weed out the bad ones.
Likewise, if you aren’t sharing, commenting and communicating with your audience and only using you channels as a one-way street, you will be losing invaluable opportunities to turn a lead into a client or a follower into a customer.
4. Social media is free, right?
Even if you post regularly on your own personal accounts, which cost you personally nothing, this does not correlate into a successful social media strategy for your business.
In order for your social media strategy to be overall effective, regardless of your KPIs and goals established, you need people to monitor, post and manage your accounts.
Social media for your business takes a lot of time to establish and then perfect (hint, it never gets perfect). But doing executing your social media strategy is far from free.
5. We need social media to expand our reach.
This one could be placed under the “Plausible” category within the Mythbusters mantra, but I don’t buy it.
You gain followers, yes. But rarely do you gain followers who have had little or no clue as to what you do. Otherwise, they wouldn’t follow you.
Your profiles, content and branding should quickly and easily signify who you are and what you do. This way, you are reinforcing your relationships with your followers. Odds are, the follower has visited your store, heard about your from a friend and is interested or saw an ad somewhere.
Rarely, are you gaining followers on a whim who just find your profile on accident and think it is cool. Unless, of course, that is your audience you are targeting (mostly these are comedians, celebrities and similar accounts)
In conclusion, focus on removing these myths from your business’ social media strategy and you will find your connections more meaningful and your message more powerful.